A Bowl With COVID

Before+their+home+tournament+on+Oct.+25%2C+2019%2C+last+year%E2%80%99s+Scholars+Bowl+team+lined+up+for+a+team+photo.+After%2C+each+student+was+sent+off+to+a+room%2C+to+either+run+or+be+in+the+tournament+%28Photo+by+I.+Williams%29.

Before their home tournament on Oct. 25, 2019, last year’s Scholars Bowl team lined up for a team photo. After, each student was sent off to a room, to either run or be in the tournament (Photo by I. Williams).

Ashdon Kice, Photo Manager

COVID-19 has made everything a little more difficult coming into this school year. For one small organization, it’s been a rollercoaster. 

“I was honestly wondering if [KSHSAA] would cancel it all together or try something virtual, I was in the dark as much as anybody,” said Stephanie Hojnacki, scholars bowl coach. 

Scholars Bowl is a competition of academic knowledge in the categories of math, science, social studies, literature, fine arts, and year in review. 

“There’s something to be said about scholars bowl being interactive. It takes people who are generally fairly closed, fairly socially introverted, and gives them a chance to get out and compete and be recognized for their own skills whereas we normally recognize all the athletes, but an academic athlete is, in my mind, just as important to recognize,” said Hojancki, adding, “Virtual will do what it needs to for now, but us coaches are looking forward to being back in person.” 

On Sept. 11, Hojnacki sent out an email informing members that KSHSAA would allow scholars bowl to compete. Practices started the next week and since then plans for the rest of the season have been coming together. 

“Whether it’s trying to figure out how to run practices or how our home tournament’s gonna go, or how other tournaments are gonna go, and then if we do go to an in-person tournament how that’s gonna go. Everything’s up in the air right now. It’s been a lot to think about,” said Stephenie Higgs, assistant scholars bowl coach.

Although the season got off to a rough start, scholars bowl is still planning on hosting a home tournament. The JV tournament will host ten teams rather than the typical 20, but this tournament will be virtual. For the virtual tournament to work a judge, a moderator, and two scholars bowl members will be in a classroom on a Zoom call with two other teams competing using an online buzz in program. The competing schools will be able to stay at their own school and zoom into the tournament, before being broken into breakout rooms to compete in individual rounds. 

With communication and tournaments being set, scholars bowl is moving forward.

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